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I played soccer when I was in high school in the Bronx, and now every single spring in New York as the weather starts getting nice but not too hot, I feel this pang of nostalgia whenever I walk through a park. It reminds me of growing up — spending the entire evening playing soccer in different boroughs until sunset, then riding the subway home. All of the cool older girls on the team wore Adidas Samba OG sneakers, so I begged my parents for a pair of the $90 shoes. To this day, whenever I look at them, I can feel a gust of spring air against my face, even if it’s the middle of January.
The classic sneaker was popular in the ‘90s, but was originally designed for playing soccer. I haven’t actually worn mine in years because they just felt so off-trend, and for the most part, I tend to avoid anything I wore in high school. But of course, leave it to a supermodel like Bella Hadid, who was just spotted in a pair, to convince me it’s time to take them out of retirement. And to be fair, the recent popularization of Juicy Couture should have made me realize I should never say never to reviving some of my teenage style. (Now if only I can find my bedazzled hot pink tracksuit!)
Maybe it’s my nostalgia kicking in, but these sneakers really are the blueprint. I’ll stand by that, because unlike so many of the current sneaker trends, they were actually made for being sporty, not just looking sporty. That also means they’re actually comfortable. Sambas aren’t just for show. They literally call them the OG for a reason.
And the fact that they are so unexpected is extremely appealing, in my honest opinion. I look at my old pair from 2010 every other day, and not even I could have predicted this comeback. But like with anything Bella Hadid wears, these are likely to break into the mainstream sooner rather than later. And if you’re not sold on something like Rihanna’s white heels obsession, the Adidas Sambas are a way easier trend to take on.
Sambas may not give you the nostalgia they give me, but they will make you look like an off-duty supermodel — something my thirteen-year-old self would never have imagined.
Shop the supermodel-approved sneakers below.